I’m extraordinarily pleased to announced that my alma mater, the Culinary Institute of America, has just received Slow Food certification. This makes them the first culinary school in New York state to achieve this title, and only the second entity in the state to do so. The Slow Food movement is dedicated to improving the relationship between farmers and chefs and pushing more chefs towards sustainability, along with educating consumers to the pitfalls of fast food.
Slow Food was founded in 1986, with a charter that was signed from representatives from 15 different countries. Today, they have over 100,000 members worldwide, and they continue to strengthen the bond between clean, unadulterated food, growers, and the culinary community. The St. Andrew’s restaurant on campus, recently made the move to complete sustainability, and this title of recognition is no small fact. Many of the chef’s that I’ve interviewed on Chef2Chef have all expressed that the future of cooking is a re-establishment of the bond between chef and growers. Chef’s are always on the hunt for the freshest and best products, so it’s of no consequence that’s where the next big thing is.
Chef’s like Melissa Kelly and Alice Waters have been influential on the movement to reduce our consumption of processed heavy foods. Chef Waters is notorious amongst the culinary community for her views on fast food (She hates it.) not to mention her die-hard support to the organic movement. Armed with Californian cuisine, and a dream of everyone being able to eat wholesome, she has written many books, spoken at countless rallys, meetings, and conferences about the importance of organics and the damage that fast food does to our cuisines and bodies. Chef Kelly is known for the invention of farm-to-table cuisine, where chef’s grow and raise their own crops and livestock only to serve them at the restaurant next door. Kelly’s flagship restaurant, Primo’s, named after her father who was a farmer, is 98% sustainable. With the exception of a rare item every once in awhile, Kelly does it all. She operates all of her restaurants with the exact same belief, wholesome well-grown food done high end.
I feel that we take many things for granted, especially in the case of food. We waste so much, just here in America, and it’s time we did our part. Did I also mention that sustainability saves people money? Just think about how much you’d save if you never had to buy vegetables at the store and could just pick them from the garden? As a final plus, there comes a great sense of satisfaction when your eat something you grew yourself. Try tasting the difference between market veggies and homegrown ones, it will blow your mind.